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House of Commons Hansard
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Historic Churches: Toilet Provision
07 July 2016
Volume 612
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9. What assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the adequacy of toilet provision for visitors to historic churches. [905702]

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The Church Buildings Council has been promoting through its “Open and Sustainable Churches” initiative how parishes can adapt their buildings for wider community use. Most schemes for work in church buildings that the Church Buildings Council now see will include installing an accessible toilet if there is not one already present.

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Let us hear the views of Mr Mann on the matter of toilets.

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Mr Speaker, imagine that you came to visit the historic Scrooby church to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers, and, as a modern man, drank tea or coffee on the way, which people did not do when these historic churches were built. It would be easy to be caught short. Many of these great historic churches lack toilets. Should not a fund be created somewhere to allow visitors the comfort break that may be required, given that we live in a modern coffee and tea-drinking era?

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The House is very expectant. We really want to hear this answer.

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I am delighted to be able to say that the Church is making great progress with the provision of the facilities that the hon. Gentleman describes. Currently, 55% of the 31 listed Church of England churches in his constituency have installed new toilet and kitchen facilities.